David Pogue is a Google Glass sceptic.
Pogue is the lead gadget review for the New York Times. He also is the host of PBS’s Nova. He generally writes about technology from the perspective of a normal consumer. He also influences those same consumers.
In a column for Scientific American, Pogue says of Glass: “If Google’s not careful, Glass will go the way of the Segway. It will be another stunning technology achievement, ultimately doomed to nichehood by the pure awkwardness, the attention-grubbing self-centeredness, of using it in public.”
He is impressed by the technology in Glass, but ultimate thinks its creepy and awkward. He hates that there is a camera strapped to someone’s face being pointed at him every time he talks to that person.
“When I ran into a Google employee wearing it in public and had a conversation with her, the interaction was screamingly uncomfortable,” says Pogue.
He followed up his column with a video for CBS in which he says, “The bottom line is: If you wear Google Glass, people are going to think you’re the world’s biggest jerk.”
I think this is only half of the story. It’s not a big trade off to look like a jerk if Glass is truly useful. The problem with Glass is that it’s not all that useful. People who use Glass say its main benefit is that they don’t pull their phone out of their pocket as much.
I guess that’s nice, but at what price? In terms of dollars, is that worth $500, $200, $1,000? In terms of societal cost, and making people uncomfortable, is that worth it?
The biggest problem with Glass is that its killer use has not yet been discovered. Google and a bunch of developers are working on this problem though, so it’s still very very early days for Glass.